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iStock_000022794775Large.jpgWHAT IS PROFESSIONAL GERIATRIC CARE MANAGEMENT?

Professional geriatric care management is a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults or disabled persons.  The goal is to improve the client’s quality of life and reduce family stress through:

  • Assessment and monitoring
  • Planning and problem-solving
  • Education and advocacy
  • Family caregiver coaching

Geriatric Care Managers are engaged to assist in a variety of areas, such as:

  • Housing – helping families evaluate and select appropriate level of housing or residential options
  • Home care services – determining types of services that are right for a client and assisting the family to engage and monitor those services
  • Medical management – attending doctor appointments, facilitating communication between doctor, client, and family, and if appropriate, monitoring client’s adherence to medical orders and instructions
  • Communication – keeping family members and professionals  informed as to the well-being and changing needs of the client
  • Social activities – providing opportunity for client to engage in social, recreational, or cultural activities that enrich the quality of life
  • Legal – referring to or consulting with elder law attorney, providing expert opinion for courts in determining level of care
  • Financial– may include reviewing or overseeing bill paying or consulting with accountant or client’s Power of Attorney
  • Entitlements – providing information on Federal and state entitlements; connecting families to local programs
  • Safety and security – monitoring client at home; recommending technologies to add to security or safety; observing changes and potential risks of exploitation or abuse

Local, cost-effective resources are identified and engaged as needed.

A care plan tailored for each individual’s circumstances is prepared after a comprehensive assessment. The plan may be modified, in consultation with client and family, as circumstances change.

WHAT IS A GERIATRIC CARE MANAGER?

A Geriatric Care Manager is a health and human services specialist who acts as a guide and advocate for families who are caring for older relatives or disabled adults. The Geriatric Care Manager is educated and experienced in any of several fields related to care management, including, but not limited to nursing, gerontology, social work, or psychology, with a specialized focus on issues related to aging and elder care.

The Geriatric Care Manager assists clients in attaining their maximum functional potential.  The individual’s independence is encouraged, while safety and security concerns are also addressed. Geriatric Care Managers are able to address a broad range of issues related to the well-being of their client. They also have extensive knowledge about the costs, quality, and availability of resources in their communities. 

Geriatric Care Managers become the “coach” and families or clients the “team captain.” Geriatric care managers who are members of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) are required to adhere to the NAPGCM Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

WHAT OTHER SERVICES DO CARE MANAGERS PROVIDE?

While the majority of care management clients are older adults, many care
managers also assist younger adults who face the challenges of disability or serious illness.  However, SISTAHFRIENDS only provides geriatric care management services to elder adults and/or assist adults in providing support and care management services to their aging loved ones.

We have qualified care managers that aid families and individuals in managing the care of older adults who may have:  
Physical Disabilities
Developmental Disabilities, (e.g. Intellectual Disabilities /formerly called Mental Retardation, Down’s Syndrome, Autism, or Asperger’s Syndrome)
Brain Injury
Mental Health Problems
Chronic or Serious Illnesses of any types

We  can often help parents who are concerned about a young adult or middle-aged adult child with disabilities. Our Care Management staff  have experience and credentials to work with all ages. The care manager conducts a comprehensive assessment and helps the family plan for the current and future needs of their aging loved ones.

DO I REALLY NEED A PROFESSIONAL GERIATRIC CARE MANAGER?

When you are considering whether you need the services of a Geriatric Care Manager, you should evaluate whether you have the time, inclination, or skills to manage the challenges of geriatric care by yourself.  If you are not sure, ask a trusted advisor to help you decide if an elder care expert may be helpful.  Enlisting the support of other family members to consult a professional is a good way to build a consensus on the solutions.

Questions that you may wish to consider:

  • Are the problems that you or your loved ones are facing becoming larger and more complex than you can comfortably manage?
  • Are other demands and responsibilities now so great that you are not able to provide the desired level of supervision and attention to your loved one’s problems?

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING A GERIATRIC CARE MANAGER?

Professional Geriatric Care Management services are offered in a variety of settings. Geriatric Care Managers can serve the needs of their clients by providing:

  • Personalized and compassionate service — focusing on the individual’s wants and needs.
  • Accessibility — care is typically available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Continuity of care management – communications are coordinated between family members, doctors and other professionals, and service providers.
  • Cost containment — inappropriate placements, duplication of services, and unnecessary hospitalizations are avoided.
  • Quality control – care management services follow National Association of Professional Geriatric Care M’anager's Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

 

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